Cedar Rapids, Country View Dairy, Clear Creek Amana Schools, Field to Family, Mighty Howard County Fair, Craig Hill, Bill Northey honored
DES MOINES, Iowa (March 9, 2022) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig this week recognized organizations and entities that make outstanding contributions to the state’s agricultural community. Naig presented the awards to the City of Cedar Rapids, Country View Dairy, Clear Creek Amana Community School District, Field to Family, Mighty Howard County Fair, Bill Northey and Craig Hill at the 10th annual Iowa Agriculture Leaders Dinner held at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny on March 8.
“During the 10 years of the Iowa Agriculture Leader Awards, we have recognized individuals and organizations that are making a difference for our farmers and our rural communities,” said Secretary Naig. “I’m proud to continue that tradition this year by recognizing outstanding leaders who champion conservation, create new markets for Iowa produce, and engage the next generation of agricultural leaders.”
Iowa Agricultural Leader Award Winners
Conservation Leadership – Town of Cedar Rapids
The City of Cedar Rapids has worked alongside the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, farmers, and county and local officials to implement conservation practices since 2015, when Middle Cedar Partnership Projected was launched. These successful partnerships have grown to include the Cedar River Source Water Regional Conservation Partnership Project, the Midwest Ag Water Quality Regional Conservation Project, and the recently announced Cedar River Clean Water Partnership. These conservation efforts help prevent soil and nutrient loss to improve water quality for the city and its downstream neighbors.
“When landowners implement conservation practices, not only does the health of their soils benefit, but the quality of our water also benefits,” said Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell. “Because agriculture fuels a significant portion of our economy, we are proud to focus on partnership efforts that benefit farmers, local industries and Cedar Rapids residents, all at the same time.
Leadership in Market Diversification – Country View Dairy, Field to Family, Clear Creek Amana School District
Country View Dairy, Field to Family, and the Clear Creek Amana School District are working together to start conversations about food production, expand markets for Iowa produce, and create efficient supply chains for local foods.
Country View Dairy, a 250-cow dairy in Hawkeye, produces yogurt from Field to Family, an urban food center serving the communities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. The Clear Creek Amana School District sources locally produced yogurt through the Food Center for its school lunch program.
“Our partnership with Country View Dairy and the Clear Creek Amana School District allows us to connect the hard work of Iowa farmers to students,” said Michelle Kenyon, executive director of Field to Family. “The ultimate goal of this partnership is to make local food more accessible to more people.”
Community Leadership – The Mighty Howard County Fair
The 2015 Mighty Howard County Fairgrounds established the Reicks View Ag Education Center, a 22,900 square foot breeding facility located on the Howard County Fairgrounds in Cresco, Iowa. The center includes a unique educational facility focused on teaching local youth about pig production while providing them with the opportunity to show pigs at the fair. For three months prior to the Fair, any 4-H and FFA member can raise their pigs in the center’s pig production area, making this opportunity accessible to more students.
“The industry was changing and our community was changing,” said Sue Barnes, Howard County Extension Service Office Manager. “As the number of children in the city increased, the number of children on the farm decreased. To keep kids engaged in the farming industry, we knew we had to do something new and different.
Iowa Agriculture Leader Awards – Outstanding Service in Agriculture
Bill Northey and Craig Hill received the Iowa Agriculture Leader Awards for outstanding service to agriculture.
“Craig Hill and Bill Northey embody the spirit of Iowa agriculture,” Secretary Mike Naig said. “As servant leaders, they championed conservation efforts, spurred innovation, and facilitated industry growth opportunities, positioning Iowa agriculture as a world leader in food and agricultural production. Their dedication to our farming community has improved the livelihoods of our farmers and rural communities.
Outstanding Service in Agriculture – Craig Hill
Craig Hill spent a decade leading the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) as the organization’s president from 2011 to 2021. Prior to that, he held various leadership positions at the Warren Country Farm Bureau, as as District 8’s representative on the state board of directors and as vice president of the IFBF from 2001 to 2011. During his service, Hill put Iowa farmers first and played a role instrumental in the development of Revenue Assurance, a revenue-based crop insurance for corn and soybean growers enshrined in the 1996 Farm Bill.
Hill has also served as president of Iowa Ag State, a board member of America’s Cultivation Corridor, a director of the Council in Agriculture Science and Technology, and an appointment to the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee on Trade.
Outstanding Service in Agriculture – Bill Northey
Bill Northey served as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture from 2007 to 2018 before being appointed Undersecretary of Crop Production and Conservation for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) where he served from 2018 to 2021. As Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Northey expanded opportunities in renewable energy, promoted conservation and stewardship, and was a champion of all aspects of Iowa agriculture. ‘Iowa. He continued to have a positive impact on Iowa and United States agriculture during his time at the USDA, improving conservation and risk management opportunities for farmers and landowners.
Northey, a fourth-generation farmer, has also served as commissioner of the Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District, chairman and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association, and chairman of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Published by press release on March 9, 2022. Filed under State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. Comments and pings are currently closed.